What if I told you that the next time you walk down the street to get a cup of coffee, a tiny drone could be tracking your location from hundreds of feet above your head? Sounds really scary, right? One marketing firm is using the flying gadgets to track a smartphone's exact location.
The capture does not involve conversations or personally identifiable information, according to director of marketing and research Smriti Kataria. It uses signal strength, cell tower triangulation, and other indicators to determine where the device is, and that information is then used to map the user’s travel patterns.
Marketing firm Adnear has offices around the world and is currently running a trial program that uses drones to gather location information on smartphone users in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. This type of information could allow coffee shops and other local businesses to send targeted in-app advertisements to people walking by their stores in real time. It isn't using the information to send out ads yet but could in the future.